Thursday, October 11, 2012

Severe Weather Threat to Begin Tonight; Increase Into Weekend...

Southerly winds are transporting moisture from the Gulf of Mexico Northward in earnest today, as you can see by examining the latest surface wind and dew point analysis shown above.  This moisture will interact with a strong upper level storm system and surface cold front to produce several rounds of severe weather across the Plains and Midwest, beginning as early as tonight.

The latest severe weather outlook for tonight from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK is shown below:

Severe storms are possible within the brown shaded area from eastern New Mexico across the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle region, on Eastward into southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.  The highest risk of severe storms is located within the yellow shaded area across northern Oklahoma, extreme southern Kansas and adjacent portions of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Thunderstorm activity is forecast to develop and increase across this region overnight tonight, mainly after 10pm-Midnight, and continue into the pre-dawn hours on Friday.  Large hail will be the main threat with this activity as storms develop on the nose of the strong moisture and instability stream that will continue flowing up into the region from the South.

By Friday afternoon and evening, a more significant threat of severe weather is forecast to develop across the High Plains from southwest Texas into central and eastern Nebraska.  The highest risk is within the yellow shaded area on the image below:

Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are possible across the severe weather outlook area for Friday afternoon and evening.

On Saturday, a regional outbreak of severe weather is still expected across portions of the central Plains and Midwest.  The latest outlook from the SPC is shown below:

The greatest risk of severe weather on Saturday will be located within the red shaded area on the image.  Scattered severe storms are possible within the yellow shaded areas, and more isolated activity within the brown shaded areas.

Large hail, damaging thunderstorm winds and tornadoes are likely with severe storms that develop on Saturday.  A few of the tornadoes could be strong and/or long track, especially within the red shaded area on the above image.

The severe weather threat on Saturday may begin as early as mid to late morning along the Western edge of the outlook area, especially over western Iowa, northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas.  The threat will then progress East/Northeastward throughout the afternoon while also gradually developing Southward.

If you live or have travel plans across the areas outlined above, please pay particular attention to the weather on the days and times indicated.  Make sure to identify your best sheltering option and be prepared to move there quickly if threatening weather is observed or a warning is issued.

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